by Sandy Garland

On Sunday afternoon, 18 August, Véronique, Jasmine, and I did a survey of pollinators in the gardens at Sunnyside library. For many years, these beds were carefully tended by the library’s custodian, John. When he retired, a group of residents – the Green Dreamers – volunteered to take over.

The beds along the street are dominated by sunflowers during the summer. Earlier in the year, you can see the variety of plants that make up the beds. In the last few years, the Fletcher Wildlife Garden has donated native perennials to the cause.

In summer, the library’s garden is dominated by giant sunflowers.
The “back bed” along the fence between the library and the neighbouring Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada contains a variety of perennials including these False Sunflowers (Heliopsis helianthoides)

Brown-winged Striped Sweat Bee (Agapostemon splendens), identified on iNaturalist and illustrating that not all green sweat bees are A. virescens. On Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum).

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) on Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum).

Common Eastern Bumble Bee on Upland White Goldenrod (Solidago ptarmicoides).

And a Common Eastern Bumble Bee on one of those huge sunflowers.

One of many, many fuzzy little bees swarming around the sunflowers, this has been identified as a bee in the subgenus Eumelissodes.

Another view of those little gold Eumelissodes bees. We also saw these on False Sunflowers (Heliopsis helianthoides).

Carolina Grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina) perched on the stem of a False Sunflower.

Ligated Furrow Bee (Halictus ligatus) on Grey-headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata).

Humped Beewolf (Philanthus gibbosus) on Mountain Mint.

The large sunflowers were clearly the favourites in this garden, but we saw only Eumelissodes and Common Bumble Bees on them. Mountain Mint – in fact all mints – also seem to be bee magnets.

These gardens are fairly small and have the disadvantage of bordering on a busy parking lot. We were surprised to see so many bees, although not the diversity we’ve found in other gardens. See Finding pollinators at Lansdowne, where we surveyed the same day.

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